It All Comes Rushing Back
In the fall of 2016, leading up to the presidential election, I started #28daysoflove as an experiment to combat the environment of fear, anger, and hopelessness that was so prevalent on social media. For four weeks, I posted personal essays on the theme of love on my on Facebook page. I didn’t know what to expect, going into it, but found that the more open and raw I could be, the more human, genuine, and accepting the response was. Through those posts I learned a lot about myself and my desire to approach the world with an open heart. Plus, a loose community formed around the posts that felt more rich and real than my average social media interactions. I collected 18 of the essays into this 52-page, self-published chapbook, It All Comes Rushing Back.
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How to Talk to Rockstars
Music is a universal language. But sometimes it needs an interpreter. That’s the idea behind How to Talk to Rockstars, the debut novel from Alli Marshall. The book, an exploration of love, loneliness and music, was inspired in part by Alli’s 12 years as an arts writer and editor for Mountain Xpress, an alternative newsweekly in Asheville. The novel was published by Logosophia Books.
The novel — think Almost Famous meets The History of Love — follows wallflower-turned-journalist Bryn Thompson. She has a dream job: she interviews rock stars. Bryn’s professionalism keeps her on track, but also emotionally removed from the gritty world of back stage, bars and drugs that she writes about. That is, until she meets musician Jude Archer, whose songs haunt her. As an unlikely friendship grows out of Bryn’s obsession with Jude’s album, Bryn begins to rethink all of the carefully-contrived rules that until now have helped her maintain a professional distance.
Endorsements and reviews:
“This bright, fleet novel is a true delight—an engaging, perceptive, precisely observed and slyly funny meditation on fame and love, in particular the love of music.” — Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Nightwoods
“A very interesting take on the world of rock ’n’ roll. An unheard perspective.” — Joseph Arthur, musician and artist
“Marshall’s How to Talk to Rockstars pays melodic homage to all those who have ever tried to find themselves in the artists who move them. … This novel captures the magic of the perfect song that we hear at the perfect time, and it imparts a sense of the known even as it opens windows to worlds unimagined.” — Forward Reviews
“The phrase ‘star-crossed’ comes to mind, as does the promise, ‘written in the stars.’ …Marshall consistently displays a nimble fiction-writing talent.” — Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen-Times
“With melodic, rhythmic prose that perfectly mirrors the subject matter, a richness born of Marshall’s own experience, and the distinctive spark of great storytelling rarely found in debut novels, How to Talk to Rockstars has poignancy, humor, and wit that will echo in the reader’s mind like the three-chord progression of a favorite song.” — Joshua Simcox, WNC Magazine
“The book’s little details ring true, Marshall consistently painting an honest portrait of her characters’ lives. Given her chosen profession, well… the old saying about ‘write what you know’ comes to mind.” — Fred Mills, Blurt!
“A compelling saga readers will find enlightening, engrossing, and revealing: a synthesis of loneliness and emotion with its source in unexpected life connections.” — Diane Donovan, Donovan’s Bookshelf